08/07/06 5:15 PM ET
Hafner recognized for great week
Cleveland slugger shares AL honor with Boston's Ortiz
By Kevin Druley / MLB.com
The Bank of America American League Co-Player of the Week for games played July 31-Aug. 6 witnessed firsthand his chief competition's signature accomplishment -- a game-winning three-run home run.
Yet going up against Boston's David Ortiz (who shared the weekly honor with Hafner), or any other slugger for that matter, didn't faze the Indians designated hitter.
Hafner batted .385 (10-for-26) with three doubles, four home runs and nine RBIs. He had 25 total bases and a .962 slugging percentage over the week. Hafner hit home runs in four successive games from Aug. 2-5. In doing so, he reached 30 home runs for the second straight season.
His grounded approach at the plate is the key.
"You can overthink yourself in this game," Hafner said. "It really just comes down to just seeing a good pitch and putting a good swing on it. I just try to work hard at hitting and try to get better all the time, and have a consistent approach."
Said Cleveland manager Eric Wedge: "His standards for himself are so high. He expects a great deal out of himself, and that's one of the reasons he's so successful as a hitter."
Cleveland's Casey Blake (.476, four home runs, nine RBIs); Minnesota teammates Jason Bartlett (.607, .714 slugging percentage, five RBIs) and Justin Morneau (.400, 12 RBIs); Devil Rays left-hander Casey Fossum (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 13 innings pitched, 15 strikeouts); and Oakland right-hander Danny Haren (2-0, 1.69 ERA, 16 innings pitched, one complete game, 12 strikeouts) also received consideration.
This is the first time both Ortiz and Hafner have won the weekly award this season.
Kevin Druley is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.